What Are Your Most Memorable Work Stories?

I just figured out that I’ve been in the professional work force for nineteen years now.  I’ve worked at a variety of different jobs and have encountered many different people along the way.  Many have been long forgotten, but there are a few that left their impression.  I’d love to hear some stories of memorable co-workers or occasions that you’ll not forget.

Here are a few of mine, with my favorite at the end.

Bad Luck Does Strike Twice

I spent a few months down in Panama City Beach working at a hospital.  One of the guys that worked for me at the time was a little goofy, and after awhile, I commented, and someone pointed out “Oh, he’s been hit by lightning.”

Then they added, “Twice.”

I figured they had to be kidding, but they weren’t.  One time he was standing near a body of water and lightning worked its way through and jumped up to touch him briefly.  Another time, I believe he was in a building that got hit and some jumped to him.  Neither were serious enough to do permanent harm (his shoes were knocked off during at least one hit, if memory serves), but he did seem a bit ‘looser’ after that.

Since that area is prone to afternoon thunderstorms during the summer months, you best believe that I steered clear of him after around 3pm most days!

The Thief

There was a guy at my current job that seemed pretty good at what he did, but nobody really liked him much.  He just seemed a little….slick.  And, while he delivered results, he hinted all the time that he wanted more, that he felt he should be in a higher position and making more money.

Apparently those things didn’t happen fast enough so he took it upon himself to take the lead, at least on the money portion of it.  At our company, when desktop computers have reached the end of life, we work with another company that either scraps, recycles, or resells them.  After some numbers didn’t add up on the returns, they found that the shortfalls were tied to some of his projects, and were able to catch him skimming some of the computers.  He figured that they wouldn’t notice.

They did and that was the end of his job.

The Pregnant Accountant

We did some consulting work for a holding firm, and one of their accountants announced she was pregnant.  She was a woman of, well, considerable size, and as such, she didn’t ‘show’.  She went on at different points about morning sickness, ultrasounds, doctors mb-2015-06-chartappointments, getting things ready, all the usual things that expectant moms have.

Except that, as it turns out, she was never pregnant.

Nobody ever really heard the story about how she was discovered, but she never came back.  I believe the company tried to get her to get mental help, but nobody really knows much about how that went.

That’s kind of a sad one, but still one that stuck with me.

When You Shouldn’t Go To A Farewell Party

I was at one job for around a year when I was given a transfer to a different department.  Same company, same type of work, but different building and under different management.  I was liking the new opportunity because I moved from a group that offered 24×7 support to one that offered normal business hours support, so my hours were going to be a lot more stable.

We were a pretty close knit team, so the manager suggested that we all go out for a drink after work on my last day to celebrate.  A bunch of us got together, had a drink or two, and my manager unexpectedly offered to pay the bill, which was a very nice gesture.

Apparently, she’d been keeping tracks of the drinks and matching it up to the people from the point when she got there, but there were a few drinks that she wasn’t sure of.  She asked the waitress just to be certain everything was on the level, and the waitress gave descriptions of the people who had drank the several drinks that she couldn’t account for.

As she was the manager, she quickly realized that one of the people who had been there before she arrived was working the afternoon shift, and had come in before his shift.  That was a strict no-no and he ended up losing his job.  Since it was my going away party, I felt horrible, but there was no way I could have known as I didn’t know the schedules.  The story did have somewhat of a happy ending, as I ended up working with his wife at a job later down the line, and she confirmed that he got another job, picked up right where he left off, and enjoyed success.  Luckily that happened during the late 90’s tech boom where IT jobs were easy pickings!

Insert Foot Directly…Well, You Know

This is my absolute favorite work related story and one that I don’t think will ever personally be topped.  Book ending Y2K, I worked for a very small company where there only about 15 people total, 5 of us on the server and desktop team.  Mike, one of the other guys, and I happened to be in the office at the same time as the owner, and we were in his office just shooting the breeze.

We were a small group so we knew each others families and such from holiday parties and such.  So, Mike was walking around the office, and he picked up a picture and said to the boss, “Hey, who’s this guy with your wife?”

The boss looked and said, “That’s me, about ten years and fifty pounds ago.”

Mike’s face went the deepest red I’ve ever seen it, and I just started laughing and didn’t sop for at least ten minutes.  The boss was a good natured guy and laughed it off, but that story (thanks to me) became one that Mike didn’t live down until he left (and he quit, he wasn’t fired, ha ha).

In fairness, the weight and years had changed the boss quite a bit, but just the way he blurted it out and the look of realization that crossed his face when the answer came back was absolutely priceless.  They could have put the entire sequence on The Office and not had to change a thing, and it would have fit right in.

Readers, please share some stories along the way that you remember?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Good Ways to Make Money from Home

No matter if you want to work solely at home or need a secondary source of income, there are plenty of ways to make money at home. You don’t need to invest in gimmicks either. Check out the below five ways to bring in more money working from home.

Educate Others Online

With the advances in technology and strong interest in learning online, you can sell your knowledge online to make money from home. You don’t need an office space; just your webcam and yourself. People are willing to pay you good money to teach them:

  • A new language
  • How to make a video
  • How to sew
  • Tutor them in math or history
  • Show them how to draft a resume
  • Teach them how to play an instrument

Whatever skill you have, just think of a way to present it in an interesting and unique format. Make your course stand out from the rest by finding a niche and delivering what people need, not just want you want them to receive.

Sell Homemade Items

If you are good at making items, you can make good money from home by selling them online or in person. Many homemade items sell just as fast as walking into your local retailer. One of the more popular sites to sell homemade items is Etsy. Here, you can sell items in over 40 categories including clothing, jewelry, handbags, draperies, and scented candles. There is a small listing fee per item; however, it comes out less than the cost of hosting your own web store, and the advertisement space is free.

Work for an At-Home Call Center

Another way to make money from home, which may demand a bit more of your time is to work for an at-home call center. A clear, yet friendly voice can land you a position as a call center representative. For many companies, you can choose your own shift to work. Many only require you to be available a few hours a day. Calls are routed to the center and then you answer them from there. Some call centers are very strict while others are a more laid back, relaxed atmosphere. As a call center representative, you will need a dedicated phone line, computer access, and possibly a headset.

Write an EBook

If you have a story you’d like to tell, writing an eBook may be for you. So in addition to having a valuable skillset added to your resume, you could potentially be an author of an eBook. EBooks are easy to develop. You can publish one using Amazon’s Kindle store. Just take something you have extensive knowledge of and solve a problem.

Become an Affiliate Marketer

Another great way to make money from home is to become an affiliate marketer. Instead of creating and promoting your own product or service, you’ll promote someone else’s. You can do so via your blog or simply promote it on your social media networks. Once someone buys the product or service using your link, you’ll earn a commission. A few affiliate marketing companies to look at include CJ Affiliate, ClickBank, and Affiliate Window.

The above five methods are ways you can get started making money from home today. It costs you little to no money and are fun to do.

Readers, do you make money working from home?  What are some of your money makers?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Benefits To Attending Industry Conferences

I’m a project manager by day.  Once I dedicated myself to this career path, I attained my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2008, and have been a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) ever since.  The certification and affiliation are, for lack of a better term, a method to show that I understand the general practices and that I know what I’m doing.

In order to keep our certifications current, members are required to earn Professional Development Units in our field, through such activities like receiving training, teaching Project Management, working in the field, or attaining knowledge of the field.

One of the areas in which you can obtain a good amount of PDUs is by attending conferences.  Here in the Detroit area there is a conference held annually where you can obtain 40% of the annual average requirements.  I debated on whether to attend this year, as I have some ‘carry over’ units from last period, but ultimately decided to attend.

Here are some reasons why I attended and why attending an industry conference can provide benefit to you and your career:

  1. Professional Credits – As I mentioned, we get credits toward required project management practice and learning by attending the conference.  Many professions require a certain amount of training to stay current, and day long conferences (or even longer) are a great way to load up on these credits
  2. Knowledge – Our conference has a variety of presentations and panels where youmb-2015-02-conf can learn about areas which are directly tied with your interests or areas of practice, or where you can learn new areas that might be of interest.  A form of project management called ‘Agile’ is one of the newer and more popular practices, and since my job doesn’t use this methodology, I could choose to learn by spending the day at various areas centered around this topic should I so choose.
  3. Networking – When you go to a professional conference, there are hundreds or thousands of people that do what you do.  This is a great way to meet people and network.  Exchanging business cards (or mobile contact information) is a great way to stay in touch with people that could help you out with projects, with information, or could even be a potential contact for a career change!
  4. Resume builder – Many employers want to see that you can walk the walk, and talk the talk.  Showing that you have knowledge based not just on experience, but from sources that go to the industry practice as a whole, can give you an edge above other candidates.
  5. They’re often a perk – Many employers will pay for your attendance and/or grant you the time off.  My employer does not pay for the conference, but my boss has agreed to provide the day so long as I give a ten minute overview to our team at a future team meeting.  That’s a whole day away from my desk and getting a break from project work for the exchange of ten minutes, plus the time to prepare my discussion.  Not bad!

Industry conferences can be a great way to boost your knowledge, give you an edge in your industry, or give you food for thought in areas where you may want to concentrate your future attention.

Readers, does your career industry provide you with the opportunity to attend focused conferences?  In what ways have you benefited from attending a conference?  Have you ever attended one that was a complete waste of time?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

The Downside Of Hiring The Best People

Hiring the best and brightest is probably the goal of many organizations.  As much as we laugh at the workplace doofus (like Wally in Dilbert), we’d ever want anybody working for our company if we were in charge, right?  We’d only hire the most qualified and the most competent and everything would run smoothly.

Unfortunately in the real world, things don’t always work out that way.

Personal Experience: My Dentists Office

I have been going to the same dental practice since as long as I remember.  Since I’m 40 years old, that’s at least 35 years or so.  For most years, the practice was owned and practiced by one dentist.  He always did a great job, and was on the cutting edge of many technologies that are now standard, but were not at the time.  On top of that he’s a really nice guy.

At some point, he brought someone in to expand the practice.  At first the second dentist was an associate, and after a number of years she became a partner in the firm, with some level of financial interest.

The original dentist eventually had a health problem and had to eliminate his ability to practice.  He still ran the practice and operates as the primary stakeholder, and in order to fill the gap in patient care, another dentist was hired as an associate.

That dentist was awesome, and became the primary dentist that my wife and I both saw, as well as my parents.  After several years of being in the practice, he left.  A replacement associate was hired, and he became our dentist, and saw both of our kids as well as everybody mentioned above, meaning there were a lot of our family member that were now developing a history with him.  He was also very good at what he did.

We just got an e-mail from the dental office that he is also leaving.

At this point, there is some great concern about the rotation of dentists and whether or not it makes sense to stay with this particular practice.

On the one hand, the managing partner seems to hire great dentists.  We’ve never had anybody yet that we feel uncomfortable with or that doesn’t seem like they know what they’re doing.  The hope is that the next associate to be brought in would meet the samemb-2015-02-teeth standards.  Of this there would be little doubt.

On the other hand, he seems to hire only great dentists….that tend to leave!  My wife and father both said to me, in independent conversations, that it doesn’t seem to make sense to develop a history with a particular dentist, only to have them leave and have to start all over again.

The dentist that just left has other family members who are dentists.  While it isn’t clear, it’s a safe bet to think that maybe he’s going to go there.  Did I mention that the family office is only a couple of miles from our house?

It makes for an interesting proposition.  We’ve developed loyalty and comfort with this office, but with the high standards that they develop, they could actually be presenting us with an option that might be in our best interests to go elsewhere.

Great Associates Don’t Want To Be Associates Forever

I’m only speculating here, but my guess is that the associates themselves see the opportunity as one to develop their skills and cement their reputation as great dentists, after which, it only makes sense for them to go where they can have more opportunity, prestige, and control.

The history of all three associates (they did announce a replacement has already been hired) seems very similar.  They graduated dental school and worked at what I call a dental ‘chop shop’ for a few years.  This is the standard clinic with many dentists that advertises on park benches and late night TV commercials, and often has very incompetent dentists, but likely also serves as a way for new graduates to get their feet wet, and to stand out, at which point they become associates at a reputable practice.

However, after they prove their mettle at the next level, it only makes sense that they want to take it to the next level again.  The bottom line is that the dentists I’ve mentioned have all been the third name on the door, but likely know that they’re talented enough at what they do to be higher up.

So, they go for it.

As they should.

Look, I don’t blame them one bit.  It’s a tough sell to tell them that they should stick it out and maybe somewhere down the road they can get a piece of the pie themselves, not when they know that the opportunity is out there.  On the other hand, it’s hard to blame the managing partner.  He founded the practice, ran it by himself for a number of years, and even though he’s no longer actively practicing, the reputation that he’s built and maintained both by his hard work and by his astute recognition of top talent, has allowed the practice to presumably remain profitable.  Does it make sense for him to ‘give that up’ to try to keep the associates happy?

It’s a fine line to walk, and it makes it abundantly clear that hiring the best and the brightest certainly has its advantages, but also opens the door to other questions and problems, many times if they’re not handled right could actually hurt business.  Say my family and my parents all left the practice, that’s certainly not going to send the practice into bankruptcy, but if there are enough people that have those thoughts and act upon them, it could very well create a financial situation with negative implications over the long term.

Interesting thoughts.  As we ponder what to do with our dental future, I’ll keep you posted.

Readers, what do you think of our dental office situation?  Have you ever seen any impact where the best and the brightest talent created unwanted problems?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.